The President of the Palestinian Authority has met senior EU representatives in Brussels.
Mahmoud Abbas met Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, parliament president Antonio Tajani and head of the diplomatic service, Federica Mogherini.
For Mogherini, there is only one way to achieve peace in the Middle East.
“We remain committed to a negotiated two state solution that remains for us the only viable way to end the conflict and all claims. Our EU policy on this has not changed, our position on Jerusalem as future capital of both states has not changed and we support Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem”
“As you know the international references, the international agreements on which we base ourselves, including the basis for the EU policy for peace in our region, they are all based on the two-state solution in line with the 1967 borders. Palestine and Israel living together in peace,” responded Mahmoud Abbas.
Happy to welcome President Abbas again – EU continues to work with partners for peace in the Middle East pic.twitter.com/wiRAT2I8PJ— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) 27 mars 2017
📽️Live now: Joint press statements by
FedericaMog</a> and the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas <a href="https://t.co/P0BIU0PzXA">https://t.co/P0BIU0PzXA</a> <a href="https://t.co/xdqLIGq03s">pic.twitter.com/xdqLIGq03s</a></p>— European Commission (EU_Commission) 27 mars 2017
EP_President</a> met w/ M. Abbas, Palestinian President: DOWNLOAD VIDEO - arrival&roundtable <a href="https://t.co/d5AXpXcQ9n">https://t.co/d5AXpXcQ9n</a> <a href="https://t.co/vdY8Svz5fi">pic.twitter.com/vdY8Svz5fi</a></p>— EP Audiovisual (europarlAV) 27 mars 2017
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been frozen since 2014. Settlements are one of the most heated issues.
Palestinians want the West Bank and East Jerusalem for their own state, along with the Gaza Strip.
Israel is building in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, where Palestinians want to establish their state and capital. The areas were seized by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
What Angela Merkel says
On Friday, the German chancellor said she was concerned about Israel’s building in settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Merkel said the work is undermining progress towards a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians.
“As before, I see no reasonable alternative to the goal of a two-state solution,” Merkel told reporters before holding talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Berlin.
“Both the Israeli and Palestinian people have the right to live in peace and security and none of the other options can deliver that credibility,” the German chancellor said.
What Washington says
Merkel’s comments jar with past remarks by US President Donald Trump. He has expressed some ambivalence about a two-state solution.
He has, however, recently invited Abbas to visit the White House.